City Residents Asked to Reduce Water Usage

The City of Truth or Consequences is calling for residents to be especially conservative with their water usage in the upcoming weeks, due to the planned repair of two storage tanks that supply the city. The repair is expected to limit water availability to about half its normal supply levels in coming months.

Truth or Consequences residents may expect possible reductions in water-related maintenance at city-operated parks and other recreational facilities while repairs are underway, and water needs to be conserved during the fire season to ensure enough in case of fires.

Both tanks must be totally drained to effectively repair interior corrosion, requiring the utilization of temporary storage reservoirs while maintenance is conducted. The City has contracted Luckinbill Enterprise LLC to install a cathodic protection system, which utilizes a small electric current to inhibit future corrosion (rust). The City has not had alternative water storage until recently, and the work will prevent future costly repairs and usage reductions.

Repair of both tanks is expected to be complete in early August. These repairs must be done in certain temperatures for the coatings to work, so work during these months is crucial to ensuring the work is done correctly and prevention of costly future repairs.

The Kirk Street tank has a capacity of 200,000 gallons, compared to 20,000 gallons for the temporary tank. The other tank holds three million gallons, but only 1.2 million can be held in the temporary reservoir at this site. The City operates six water wells that supply the tanks.

“These rehabs are needed if we want to assure the public that an adequate and reliable water supply will be available 30 or 50 years from now,” said Wastewater Department Director Jesus Salayandia.

The City currently allows lawn watering (April-September, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) for odd-numbered addresses on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Even numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Watering is prohibited for all addresses on Mondays.

With the limited water available, City officials are asking citizens to use water for gardening or other outdoor needs only from 6 to 8 a.m., and to avoid undertaking any activity that could lead to wildfire.

The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting drought, to extreme drought, conditions for the remainder of 2012, at least until the upcoming monsoon season (July-September). La Niña has been curbing seasonal rain and snow in southern New Mexico, according to NWS officials, causing the sixth driest year recorded across the state of New Mexico in 2011.


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